Around the Gaming World News Report 05.25.12
Posted by Chris Ferrell on 05.25.2012
News and thoughts on Mass Effect 3's new multiplayer DLC, Xbox facing a ban on sales in the United States, legal briefs potentially leaking the launch dates of the new Xbox and Playstation, Nintendo possibly making a StarFox/Metroid crossover, the huge sales of Diablo III and more!
Hey everyone, welcome to the latest installment of Around The Gaming World. If this is your first time checking in I try to cover some of the major stories for each console in addition to news, which in my opinion, is the news of the week.
First let's go over the comments.
I can proudly say that I didn't pre-order (or even buy) Diablo 3. I told myself I'd wait it out til the initial player reviews came out before I'd shell out any penny to Blizzard. And what am I seeing in all the player threads? How much the game is lacking, how quick and easy it is to finish the core of the game. It looks like I'll be saving my money for a different game instead.
Posted By: Guest#9973 (Guest) on May 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM
We must not be looking at the same game then. Reviews I've read are mostly positive. All of my friends who have played it, love Diablo 3. But, check out Torchlight 2 if you're looking for something else to try. I've heard it should be good.
Is there data available showing the percentage of Mass Effect 3's revenues that come from DLC? How about other recent blockbusters? Most add-on DLC is multiplayer maps and goodies like special weapons and armor to play in online frag-fests. It seems so frivolous to me, which makes me wonder how profitable it is.
Posted By: Jason Douglas (Guest) on May 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I haven't seen any stats like that. To be fair to BioWare they have released all of the multiplayer DLC as free. From what I've read it's the zero-day DLC that has been the money maker for EA. I read in an interview that there was roughly a 60% attach rate on the Mass Effect 3 From Ashes DLC. At ten bucks a pop on top of the game that's a pretty penny. I think we might see some more of the free multiplayer DLC and more zero-day DLC.
And now, it's on to the news...
Xbox Sales Could Get Banned - A judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that Microsoft's Xbox videogame consoles should face a U.S. import and sales ban for violating four patents owned by Motorola Mobility, which was just purchased Tuesday by Google.
ITC Administrative Law Judge David Shaw decided in April that the Xbox has violated four Motorola patents that pertain to the H.264 video compression codec and wireless technologies used in both gaming controllers and consoles. Last month, in deciding that the Xbox was violating Motorola's patents, Shaw made no recommendation to halt Xbox sales or imports. In the court document, released to the public on Monday, that changed and Shaw recommended the bans.
Do I think new Xbox sales will get banned in the US? Not really, but the threat of the Xbox sales being banned is sure to bring attention to the public at large. Especially if this potential ban could take place before the holiday season, which is traditionally the time when sales start to peak. Is there a case here? I have no clue as I'm not a lawyer or educated on patent law. I think the possibility of having Xbox sales banned is scary. But even if the courts rule that Microsoft infringed on Motorola's patents there is no guarantee a ban will go in to effect. I think it's likely there would be a settlement and/or license fee agreed to between the two companies.
I really, really hate all of the patent disputes going on in the tech industry. It seems to me that companies buy and/or file patents just to try and stake claim on an idea so that no one else can pursue it. That in turn stifles innovation. And no, I'm not advocating doing away with patents, there just has to be a smarter way to protect intellectual property and not stifle creative innovation at the same time.
BioWare Officially Announces Mass Effect 3 Rebellion DLC - Reinforcements are being deployed to all N7 forces, bringing out some heavy hitters thanks to the new Mass Effect 3 Rebellion DLC Pack! Arriving on Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network and PC on Tuesday, May 29 (Wednesday, May 30 on the PSN in Europe), the Mass Effect 3 Rebellion Pack will be bringing you more gear, more weapons, more maps, and more kits, available at no additional cost for anyone who redeemed an Online Pass for Mass Effect 3 on PC, PS3 or Xbox 360.
The Rebellion Multiplayer Expansion opens two new fronts against the Reapers: Firebase Jade's jungle reservoir and Firebase Goddess on Thessia. In-game reinforcement packs now include three new weapons (Reegar Carbine, Krysae Sniper Rifle, Cerberus Harrier) as well as equipment, consumables, and six new characters from species that have lost lives or whole planets to the Reapers: Quarian Engineer and Infiltrator, Vorcha Soldier and Sentinel, Ex-Cerberus Adept and Vanguard. The battle continues!
I've admitted multiple times that I love the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. The cooperative gameplay elements make it a lot of fun for me. One of my worries has been, what will happen when people get bored? To be honest it seems to have started as it seems to be taking longer to get a team together. Luckily BioWare is releasing more DLC to keep fans interested in the multiplayer aspect of the game. What's the best part of this? If you redeemed and online pass with your ME 3 purchase then this DLC is free. Free DLC? Yes please.
Getting new character classes is always a good thing. It adds more variety to the game and causes players to work harder to unlock them. I'm looking forward to trying out the new Quarian engineer and the Ex-Cerberus vanguard. It should be interesting to see what no powers these characters have.
Did Legal Docs Leak The Next Gen Consoles? - Paperwork reveals that a title being referred to as Destiny Games #1 will launch for the Xbox 720 in the fall of 2013. Another little tidbit is that the game is also listed for Xbox 360, and the companies note that it will be "compatible" with both consoles. Some are speculating that could mean a game could be sold as one packaged product capable of running on either device. A fourth-quarter 2013 release for the Xbox 720 is essentially what people are expecting at this point. Microsoft has strongly stated it will not reveal the new console at next month's E3 trade show.
Potentially more interesting in the Activision/Bungie paperwork is the first reference of a PS4 title. A game called Comet #2 has been listed for a launch window of 2016, with "Comet #1″ planned for release in 2014 on the PS3. Obviously these dates are not set in stone, and even if the first Bungie/Activision PS4 game doesn't hit until 2016, it doesn't mean the console won't launch before then.
Oh, it's that time again. More rumors on when the next-gen Xbox and Playstation will be released. At this point it's all conjecture but these rumors obtained from legal briefs are the most concrete evidence that I have seen regarding launch dates of the new consoles. The dates given are reasonable and seem to be in line with what most industry experts were thinking.
Based off of the rumored dates in the legal documents I would wager that we don't see anything about the new Xbox or Playstation at this E3. Next year could be huge on details about the next gen consoles though.
Uncharted Goes Digital - Do you know what Nathan Drake is most afraid of? How about why, when, and where he first met Elena Fisher? Uncover these truths and much more via Drake's first two critically acclaimed PS3 adventures when they arrive as digital downloads on the PlayStation Store. UNCHARTED: Drake's Fortune and UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves Game of the Year Edition will land on the PlayStation Store in the downloadable PS3 game section on June 26th.
This seems to be an ongoing trend for Sony. They have begun putting many of their PS3 games on PSN, where they can be downloaded. It is an interesting trend as it removes the middle man, in this case the stores. To be fair both the Uncharted games have been out for quite a while, but the copy of Uncharted 2 is the Game of the Year edition which was recently announced. It will be interesting to see if these games are priced the same as the physical copies I could buy at my local store. If they are the same price, I would still lean towards buying the physical copy. This is mostly because I could turn around and potentially sell or trade-in the games once I beat them. That option is not available for buying the games as DLC.
Nintendo recently announced that they would be releasing first party games as DLC the same day the physical copies were released. I wonder if this is going to be a similar trend for Sony? They could be testing the waters by making some of their more popular game series downloadable and watching to see how they sell. Microsoft has also been exploring the same way by making some of the older Xbox games available as downloadable games. If the big 3 moved forward with a stronger digital presence it would surely affect the traditional brick and mortar stores. But, to get people to buy digital over physical copies I think the digital versions would have to be discounted some. Gamers will still be attracted to the possibility of reselling their games upon beating them.
Samus and Fox McCloud Might be Teaming Up - Retro Studios, the developers of the Metroid Prime series, has been rumored to be working on a Wii U game, though there's been no word yet on what that might be, besides whispers of a new take on Zelda that haven't amounted to anything yet.
But Paul Gale Network, who reportedly has a good track record on this sort of thing, may have just blown the lid off Nintendo's most ambitious game in years: Star Fox - Metroid: Fusion Saga.
It would be a crossover between the two classic series, featuring on-rails space combat gameplay as Star Fox (a la Star Fox 64) and first-person planet exploration as Samus (a la Metroid Prime).
This is something fresh that could help to gather some more interest in the Wii U. The Metroid Prime games were a lot of fun on both Gamecube and Wii. Add in Fox and the space combat associated with the StarFox series and I think this would be a damn fun game. The problem is, this is just a rumor and I don't want to get my hopes up. However, if this is true I don't see how it can't be a winner for Nintendo.
Diablo III Owns Your PC - Blizzard has announced it sold more than 3.5 million copies of Diablo 3 in the first 24 hours after its release, making it the fastest selling PC game in history.
In the first week of sales, Blizzard estimates it sold (based on internal numbers as well as data from key distribution partners) more than 6.3 million copies of the game
For a game that people had been preparing for, for about 12 years I really shouldn't be surprised by the massive sales Diablo 3 has generated. Yet, I'm still pretty surprised that 6.3 million copies were sold so quickly.
Yes, there were some server issues up front with the game. Luckily, Blizzard was on top of things and had the servers up fairly soon after a failure. It's good to see that all of these server issues didn't translate into the game not selling either. Congrats to the folks at Blizzard for knocking another one out of the park!
Thanks for checking in for your weekly dose of gaming news. It should be interesting to see how some stories, such as the next version of the Xbox and PS3, progress over the next week. As always, please make use of the comments to let me know what you are thinking. Feedback is always welcomed.
Pardon me for a moment while I shamelessly self promote. I recently joined a podcast as one of the weekly host. The podcast is entitled All Things Good And Nerdy. With a name like that we have to cover video games. I'm looking for suggestions on game topics you would want to see/hear discussed by a group of nerds. Let me know in the comments below. If you're interested in checking it out the audio is on iTunes just search All Things Good And Nerdy. But seriously, send me discussion topics, I'd love to hear what people want to hear about.
If you find yourselves bored on Xbox Live, send me a message. I'm always looking to put together a good team on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to tackle some gold challenges. Without a good team you just get your ass kicked.